Council hears Docklands residents ‘loud and clear’ at its inaugural Future Melbourne community meeting

Docklands residents have wasted no time in posing hard-hitting questions to the City of Melbourne during its first community council meeting.

Community members gathered at The Hub in Docklands on May 17 as the council opened the doors of its Future of Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting to the public.

The council has been moving its Town Hall meetings to the suburbs to keep residents informed about what’s happening in their area and to ask questions. There were a total of 13 public questions, seven of which were written and read in front of a public gallery estimated at around 50 people.

Topics ranged from dog-friendly parks to community safety, as well as orientation opportunities to help people navigate the grounds and electric vehicle charging facilities.

There were also questions about the short-stay registry, the vision for Docklands, and the latest on the proposed streetcar bridge from the city to Fishermans Bend.

While news of the 2022-23 draft budget was the biggest item on the agenda, a total of 40 minutes was devoted to public question time, with Mayor Sally Capp saying, “We really appreciate the very thoughtful, very relevant questions. and thank you so much for raising them with us tonight.

Discussion of new dog spaces generated great interest, with council saying two stages of community consultation had taken place and a proposal for new off-leash dog areas, including in Docklands, would be presented to council in June,” with the implementation of approved areas” to follow in about three months.

The meeting also heard that councilors had been getting “lots of ideas” on ways to improve Docklands and make it a destination, as Central Pier has been closed, which would be discussed at a Docklands Summit scheduled for late July or early July. of August.

The council said designs and construction dates for a proposed tram bridge across the Yarra River from Collins St had not yet been confirmed by the state government.

The meeting also discussed key neighborhood issues and the City of Melbourne’s projects for Docklands, as well as the Docklands Firelight Festival which runs from July 1-3.

“The City of Melbourne is actively involved in this work and is investing in Docklands,” a council statement said. “The Council is particularly focused on getting state government to commit to long-term solutions.”

And in an idea to excite dog lovers, a resident submitted a proposal to councilors to have a dog tram service stop at dog-friendly locations around the CBD, which the council will consider.

A spokesman for the Docklands Representative Group said it was “fantastic to see such a strong turnout” from Docklands residents at the meeting.

“The City of Melbourne heard loud and clear from multiple residents about the issues of safety and security, open spaces and the need for residents to be a key part of the planning of events taking place in the Docklands and the planning of projects. public in Docklands. ”, said the spokesman.

“The DRG believes Victoria Police PSOs should be involved to ensure the safety of key public spaces, including the promenades around Victoria Harbour.”

Docklands Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Shane Wylie said he was “immensely pleased” that the City of Melbourne hosted its meeting in Docklands, adding that it “brought to light a lot of different views and agendas”.

“We are well aware that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have made Docklands a personal focus,” he said. “We also thank Docklands resident Cr Jamal Hakim for his tireless efforts to highlight how much it has hurt us.”

Mr Wylie added that the open house “is a brilliant step forward” towards the upcoming Docklands Future Forum with “a consensus that Docklands needs aligned thinking and strong direction”.

Mr Wylie added that there were three key elements the House hoped to see addressed, including “immediate action” on Central Pier, clarity around the future direction of Docklands and Victoria Harbor becoming a “focal point for Melbourne”. and Australia”.

Cr Hakim said the meeting attracted the highest level of community engagement yet, “showing the strength of the Docklands community”.

“Thank you to everyone who attended, to the Chamber and to all the residents who came out to share with the council what matters most in our neighborhood,” he said.

“I look forward to even more as part of the Docklands summit and the council’s commitment to deliver on the future of Docklands.”

While council chief executive Justin Hanney was heard at the meeting to say the Docklands Summit was planned for “late July or early August”, said Geoff Ward, head of Development Victoria’s constituencies group. Docklands News“We have not been contacted in any official capacity regarding a summit.”

“We work closely with the City of Melbourne on a range of Docklands-related issues to ensure this iconic part of Melbourne continues to thrive.” •

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